A concise guidebook to the hidden land of Pemako
by Khamtrul Jamyang Dondrup Rinpoche
Hung! I prostrate to you Dorje Tho Treng Tsal.
In future times, at the end of the turbulent and wicked age, there
will arise a time when Vidhyadharas of intrinsic awareness will flee
their homelands from foreign invaders who incite great trepidation and
fear in the hearts of our people. Their longing will guide them to
pilgrimage to distant hidden lands and will find refuge amongst the
secret valleys to the south in the land of Monyul. There are myriad
enumerations of short and long-winded tales of these most blessed of
lands however, the account I have written here is a concise summary of
Our legends tell us that Tibet, the Land of Snows is analogous to a
supine ogress outstretched on her back. In the upper torso of her body
lay the heart of Ngari, and Tsang. In her lower torso are the legs of
Do Kham, China and Mongolia. In her secret place is Er Lang Ri and her
head arises as the immaculately pure glacial snows of Mount Kailash.
In her cardinal and intermediate directions, she is surrounded by the
twenty-five sacred Neychen containing the mysterious and unknown
abodes of the gods. Out of all of these obscure and mystic places,
that which is most pre-eminent and supreme amongst all the hidden
valleys in the Land of Snows is the Beyul Pema-ko - resplendent and
agape like an immaculate lotus flower.
It is from this then, from the center of China and Mongolia, Do Kham,
U and Tsang that the wondrous body of the sublime Dorje Pagmo arises.
Her head is renowned as the, "glorious mountain" south of Kongpo. Her
neck is Pema Dzong and Orgyan Puk and her heart is the spontaneously
arisen palace of great bliss. Her navel is Trakar Tashi Dorje Dzong
and her secret place is a mountain of crystal lotuses. All of these
are the wondrous display of the three channels and five chakras of her
Vajra body. Furthermore, arrayed in the ten directions surrounding her
form are the Beyuls of Yagu Lung and the glorious Beyul Dre-mo 'jong
(Sikkim). In addition to these realms which emerge from her wondrous
display are the five large valleys and six continents of Arya Jong,
Go'o Jong, Khenpa Jong and Bachak Sher-ri Jong each of which are the
five types of spontaneously arisen grains and cereals.
In the future, as the complex necessities and riches of the world
increase, there will remain two great Neychen into which the foreign
invaders will fail to reach. These are the Beyul Dre-mo 'jong (Sikkim)
and the Beyul Pema-ko. Contained herein is a concise guide for finding
their door and entering their valleys here in the Land of Snows.
If, due to great longing and devotion, one pilgrimages to the Beyul
Sikkim otherwise renowned as the, "Valley of Rice" in the northern
land of India, then, from Zang Zang boulder, one must wander on foot
for thirty-nine nights. As our party gradually departed from Padma
Lung, we traveled mostly at night upon perilous slippery rocks and
pounding dark rains. After nine nights of travel we came to a snow
mountain shaped like the head of a horse. Then, continuing on for an
additional nine nights through ice and snow, we eventually descended
upon a grassless and barren highland for seven nights. We then
continued for three nights through lands without water, three nights
through lands without trees and three nights through a grassy valley
the shape of a lute until we arrived at the base of a large rocky
mountain whose summit was enveloped by a caucus of white vultures.
There, we bound to oath several of the local gods and made offerings
of Sang to the local fairies being that it was a sacred place. At
dawn, facing the eastern direction as the sun arose, we beheld hills
with green meadows shaped like the letter AH through which we traveled
on, continuing our pilgrimage. After five nights of wandering through
the secret valley of the Dakinis, we eventually arrived in the
illustrious Beyul Dre-mo 'jong (Sikkim). Therein, we observed the
Beyul to contain one million two hundred thousand myriad types of
beings. And in a vision, beheld the pure realm of great bliss, utterly
free of disputes, fighting and quarrels. As we arrived, we found deep
contentment knowing our adversaries could not harm us here.
Likewise, if one wishes to travel south to the hidden land of Pema-ko,
one must continue for nine nights through the land of Badong in India.
On route, we found the tributaries of the upper Tsangpo River flowing
downstream and beheld a large boulder known as "honey rock". It was
from here that we made our first entry into the Beyul, walking for 22
kilometers until we arrived at Pema Dzongchen. There, in the upper
part of the valley, the mountains were dusted with snowfall and their
bases were pregnant with lush green forests. Its center contained a
white boulder the shape of a king sitting on a throne and the
surrounding smaller mountains were shaped like savage carnivorous
animals. Nestled in the upper and lower parts of the valley were the
Guru's caves of rumination, within which lay the impression of his
feet in solid rock and mantric seed syllables growing from the walls
themselves. As we remained there for some time, we beheld innumerable
por!tentous omens and auspicious signs.
Next to the Guru's cave was another cavern with naturally formed
pillars. Crawling inside we found a spontaneously formed Dakini temple
with balls of tsampa on a Ganachakra feast plate surrounded by myriad
amazing self arisen images growing out of the cavern walls.
Additionally, concealed within the stone walls of the cave were the
keys to the hidden land, namely, a pilgrimage guide, a handbook of the
Beyul's essential qualities as well as an inventory and map of the
neighboring Terma displaying their locations.
Adjacent to this cave was a canyon called Sherkar Lung, which was
shaped like the dancing Dakini, Lhasai Karmo. The upper part of the
valley was filled with snow and its base was filled with thick green
forests. In the center of the valley was a mountain of boulders shaped
like a nomad's tent and nestled into its edges were the numerous
meditation caves of the Guru's twenty-five disciples.
From Sherkar Lung gazing to the distant horizon, I beheld a floating
goddess amidst the vast expanse of sky surrounded by an abundant land
of glorious rainbow castles. To the east sat a crystal Chorten that
grew from the rocks themselves and further off in the distance I
beheld a land abundant with grass, water, amrita, and sublime Buddha's
who were teaching and subduing the nagas, demons and beings of the six
realms with their Vajra. Furthermore, this land was blessed with an
abundance of barley, corn, wheat, milk, grains, spices, fruits and
bamboo. This was the wondrous throat of Dorje Pagmo.
To our left was the valley of Sherkar and to our right was an
unfamiliar mountain, near which was a bounty of precious jewels. Here
in this land, the thunder itself seemed to endlessly float in the air
and later on, as we continued our journey, the melting mountain snows
dripped slowly on either side of us as myriad animals scurried and
galloped through the secret trails before us. As we continued on, we
eventually arrived at a crag of boulders resting on the summit of a
mountain pass. Adjacent to these boulders were two small lakes, one of
medicine and one of blood where we made offerings of Serkim and Sang
while hoisting a prayer flag for the gods.
To the southeast was a land called "Glorious Lord Buddha" which
contained a permafrost snow mountain the shape of a standing lion and
another mountain made from a mixture of snow and mud shaped like the
letter AH leaning upwards. On its summit was a sacred lake which
contained the life force of a demon, tsen and naga that lived within a
castle beneath its waters. As we arrived, we made petitions and
offerings to the protectors and hoisted a victory flag of red silk.
Here, the upper part of the valley faced east, its bottom faced west
and was shaped like a prideful black snake sloping downwards. There
was also a large crystal rock like a large nomad tent with each of its
walls spreading to a distance of twenty-five phodam. It was shaped
like an erect five pointed Vajra standing upwards and contained the
heart of Dorje Pagmo's treasures as "Ludul-ma" - subduer of nagas.
Furthermore, spread amongst the eight cardinal directions were the
eight great lands as well as the four major and four minor continents.
These were accompanied by the five great oceans of white, gold, red,
green and lapis lazuli while being surrounded by hundreds of smaller
lakes of similar colors. All of these were comparable to the seven
dancing oceans, the great salty sea and the seven golden mountains of
Surrounding their circumference were snow mountains, clay mountains,
forested mountains, slate mountains, mountains covered with green
meadows, little mountains and large mountains. Its center was swollen
with four corners and four sides and falling on its left and right
were artesian springs and meadows arrayed like a mandala.
It is here where the five types of supreme magical herbs grow. The
magical herb that increases happiness is white in color and tinged
with red. Its flowering bud is five in number and smells akin to
medicinal elephant bile. Its petals are small and shaped like a curled
small infant baby.
The magical herb which fills one with immortality is a red lotus
flower tinged with black. Smelling it, releases the scent of camphor,
which is carried by the wind. It has eight leaves and is shaped like a
The magical herb which grants all supreme and mundane siddhis, is a
golden flower tinged with red. Smelling it reveals an odor of nutmeg
and the tips of its six petals are slightly curled. It has blue leaves
and hangs upside down like a cuckoo.
The magical herb which empowers one to fly in the sky like the Dakini,
Vajra Varahi is a blossoming red flower like red coral that has been
shined with oil. Smelling it reveals the aroma of aloe wood and the
pungent taste of cumin. It has three petals and is shaped like a
Garuda soaring in the heavens as its leaves are formed like a peacock
with breasts of lapis lazuli.
The magical herb which is the summation of all intrinsic realization
is a blue flower shaped like a bell. A single whiff will intoxicate
the mind with its scent of white sandalwood, its petals are contoured
like a bulbous and shiny seed the shape of a Vajra and its leaves
resemble that of a small light green rooster.
This is a description of the five types of supreme magical herbs as
found in the Beyul Pema-ko. During they day they display a shower of
rainbow light and at night, they burn like fire and jiggle and wiggle
with dancing light. These herbs contain magical power, are sacred to
this holy land and are extremely difficult to find.
On the auspicious sacramental occasions of the 10th and 25th days of
the lunar month. Pray one pointedly to the master Padmasambhava to
fulfill ones mantric recitation on the stages of approach and
accomplishment of ones Yidam and deities. Then, as one prepares the
magical and tantric implements for the appeasement of the hosts of
assembled Dakinis - subdue through oath and instruction the dharma
protectors and eight classes of gods and demons. Furthermore,
throughout all times, encourage them to persevere in their entrusted
deeds and thereafter, through the reception of blessings, one will
come to behold these five types of supreme medicinal herbs.
Like a mouse, which creeps privily to steal, the rays of rainbow light
expands, slowly covering the land. Likewise, in whichever direction
the wind blows, these magical herbs like sharp swords sway and bend
with the wind. As they move, the dew drops which cover them are flung
and gradually the amritas of medicine, milk and their inner essences
can be collected like drops of precious jewels in an oblong spoon. As
one ingests and quaffs their inner essence, their innate blessing
power is actualized, the experience of bliss and emptiness is
generated and ones form is transformed into the pubescent body of a
Deva attaining immortal life. Furthermore, all the sublime Siddhis,
both supreme and mundane, like the sky delighting fairies who circle
the world will be instantly attained.
Within the inner heart of this sublime holy land is the navel of
spontaneously accomplished great bliss. Whatever actions that beings
perform there are absolved of gradations of good or bad as it is
identical to the terrestrial pure land of lotus light, Chamara - the
heavenly realm of Guru Padmasambhava himself. It is here that the two
obscurations of mind and emotions are cleansed, the state of the three
Kayas is achieved and all the primary Siddhis of natural liberation
Likewise, to the east, in a valley shaped like a standing elephant are
inconceivable treasures of spiritual wealth. In particular, there are
the Ringsel of the, "One thus gone" known as the Tathagata, Lord
Buddha as well as the Vajra crown of Guru Padmasambhava himself which,
if beheld, will produce enlightenment instantaneously.
To the south, in a land like a heap of precious jewels, are the five
types of precious gems and robes of the finest silks. There one will
find unrefined grains of crystal and diamond and a myriad variety of
untold riches and wealth.
To the west, in a land like an upright peacock are rilbu pills
containing the brains of the great learned one, Shantarakshita, his
Vajra crown, the long earflaps of his ritual hat, begging bowl and
walking stick as the practice of the sublime Buddhadharma is a
necessity for ones livelihood.
To the north, in the land of Dzampa Lung where the winds and fires
blaze, lay the jewels of the gods and the flesh of tigers, nagas which
produce jewels from their mouths, the Bodhisattva Amogha Pasha and a
variety of other jewels, gods, nagas and humans.
To the southeast, in a grove of the five primordial wisdoms are the
five meats and five nectars which liberate through taste. Additionally
there are the flesh of seven Brahmins and the six especially sublime
and precious medicinal treasures.
To the southwest in a swirling pleasure grove of golden fish is a
religious history of sutra and tantra and the spiritual treasures
which propagate the marvelous teachings of the Tathagatas.
To the northwest, in a garden containing ten million goddesses are the
Dakinis cycle of practice and its steps of refinement. There are
legends of Ling Gesars birth, tales of his yogic dominion over the
four maras and petition offerings dedicated to the Pho-lha and
To the northeast, is a grove of the fearful black tempest containing
the countless mighty Dharmapalas which protect the Guru's treasures of
lapis lazuli, rock candy, chili and salt.
Its center contains the Buddhafield of Trak-kar Heruka, otherwise
renowned as the, "Heap of Precious Jewels" - the abode of Rigdzin
Dupa. There in that place is the source of spiritual wealth and the
fulfillment of all ones hopes and desires. In particular it contains
the flaming turquoise jewel of Tsogyal, the Guru's brocade robe and
his rainbow colored strands of hair. The Buddha Kashyap's Ringsel, the
"eyes which destroy Samsara", his begging bowl, dharma robes and
These treasures remain for the liberation of those with devotion and
grant instantaneous freedom upon sight. It is here where the three
hundred thousand practitioners of the semi-wrathful passions enact the
Buddha's activity and abide harmoniously within the pure realms of
great bliss, utterly free of discord.
In this supreme of sacred lands, whomever practices the refinement of
spiritual insight will be uplifted by the Buddhas which reside in the
ten directions with ones very own physical body to higher realms. In
this supreme of sacred lands whomever erects a temple or shrine, will
be liberated to the highest of all pure lands - Akanistha and abide
there in supreme illusory form. In this supreme of sacred lands,
whomever constructs a statue of the Buddha, will instantaneously be
liberated into the primordial heart sphere of the Buddha himself. In
this supreme of sacred lands, whomever makes offerings and homage will
attain the empowerment of immortal longevity beyond the need for
meditation or mantric accomplishment. In this supreme of sacred lands,
whomever would walk, circumambulating its circumference on foot would
attain the foundation of magical emanation. In this supreme of sacred
lands, whomever makes offerings of butter lamps and light would
perfect the matur!ation of intrinsic insight. In this supreme of
sacred lands, whomever performs rites of purificatory ablution would
transform ones geriatric complexion into pubescent splendor.
Moreover, in this supreme of sacred lands, in accordance with ones
longing, if, while sojourning to this supreme of sacred lands, one
dies upon the road, then solely through the power of ones devotion,
one would be prevented from falling into the lower realms. Similarly,
even if one takes seven steps in the direction of this supreme of
sacred lands, then solely through the power of ones devotion, the two
obscurations of mind and emotions would be wiped clean and one would
be reborn in the celestial pure realm of Chamara - the heavenly pure
land of Guru Padmasambhava himself.
Here in this supreme of sacred lands, even when caterpillars die, they
attain rainbow body and their corpses emanate Ringsel. Here in this
supreme of sacred lands, there is no need to speak of the suffering of
sickness, warfare or famine, as one would easily attain liberation
from even the most chronic and serious of diseases. Here in this
supreme of sacred lands, there is no need to speak of the fear of
freezing, hunger or thirst, as one would easily attain freedom from
the fiery junk pile of the five poisons. Here in this supreme of
sacred lands, there is no need to speak of the fear of enemies,
robbers and thieves, as one would be utterly victorious over the
darkness of anger, attachment and ignorance.
This concise guidebook to the Beyul Pema-ko, was originally revealed
by the Terton, Orgyen Chogyur Lingpa and orated to the scribe, Jamgon
Lama Dorje Zhig-je Tsal, otherwise known as the previous incarnation
of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. In a vision, I received this text as
a gift from the Lady, Dorje Yudronma as she appeared to me one night
in a dream telling me it has been entrusted to her care and was to be
given to me. Afterwards, in accordance with this dream, it was finally
written down by myself, the mad man Khamtrul of Do-me one day in a
cave known as "abundance of turquoise jewels" in 1959 before I was to
trace the steps of this mysterious guide book for my eventual
departure through the Beyul of Pema-ko to India in 1961.
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